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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kapaeeng organises a discussion titling “Second International Decade and Situation of IPs in Bangladesh” in Dhaka marking International Indigenous Day

On 11 August 2014, Kapaeeng Foundation organized a discussion meeting on “Second International Decade and Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh” at National Museum auditorium in Dhaka. The meeting was organized to celebrate the occasion of International Indigenous Peoples Day 2014.

Honorable Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council and also President of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larmawas present as guest of honor while Mr. Rabindranath Soren, Chaiperson of Kapaeeng Foundation presided the program. Among others, Mr. R A M Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury MP, Honorable Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs; Mr.. Fazle Hossain Badsha, MP; Pir Fazlur Rahman Misbah, MP; Professor Dr. Sadeka Halim, Former Information Commissioner; Mr. Snehal V Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam; Mr. Gonzalo Serano De La Rosa, representative of the European Union; Mr. Mika Kanervavuori, representative of UN; Mr. Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary, Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum; were present as special guest in the event. Ms. Chandra Tripura, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Adivasi Cultural Forum delivered welcome speech and Mr. Pallab Chakma, Executive Director of Kapaeeng Foundation moderated the discussion meeting. 

In his speech Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma (Santu Larma) said, State does not fulfill the rights of the indigenous people. Social discrimination is also continuing against them. He allegedly said that the government has not fulfilled promises. The government is very far from the full implementation of CHT Accord. It is delayed by the government. 

He further said, ‘in the 15th amendment of the constitution, the government named us assmall ethnic group. But it is much dishonored for us to introduce such type of recognition’. He also said, ‘today if I call our Prime Minister as the largest ethnic group of Bangladesh, then how she feel?’He urged to the government to re-amend of the constitution and replace the term ‘small ethnic group’ with ‘Adivasi’. Aggrieved at the government's recent request to refrain from using the word "Adivasi", he said the government treated indigenous people as zoo animals and called them by whatever name it liked.

In his speech R A M Obidul Moktadir Chowdhurysaid, ‘we can use the Adivasi term, though the term is not established by the constitution, however, the constitution does not say anywhere that the term is not usable. So anyone can use the term and we all have to work together for the rights of indigenous peoples.’ He mentioned that the government is determined to implement the ILO Convention No. 107 and hoped as a member State of the United Nations, the government has to sign the other international convention/treaty/ agreement gradually. 

Fazle Hossain Badsha MP said, Adivasis also participated and fought in the war of liberation to make an independent country and dreamed their rights would be fulfilled in new country, but they still did not get theirright. State have always been depriving them and continue the fixation behavior to the indigenous people. He mentioned that ‘the diversity of indigenous peoples is our resources. To protect these resources we must have to protect their rights.’ He demanded to immediate implementation of the CHT Peace Accord, establish an effective land commission for hill districts and the establishment of another separate land commission for plain land indigenous peoples. He urged a revision of the constitution, and said, “I will keep trying to press the government to amend the constitution.”

Professor Dr. Sadeka Halim said, indigenous peoples are politically excluded by the Bengali people, therefore the identity question of Adivasi can be resolved by political movement. She also mentioned the indigenous women are the most vulnerable in the society. She demanded to ensure security of indigenous women and their fair justice. She also added the indigenous people had little achievement in the last two decades. Appreciating the lawmakers who joined the discussion, she said when a legislator addressed them as "Adivasi", it became much more acceptable.

It is to be mentioned that in a PID handout on August 7, the government asked participants of different programs, discussions and talk shows on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples to refrain from using the word "Adivasi" as there is no Adivasi in Bangladesh as per the constitution.

Sanjeeb Drong Said, rights of indigenous people is human rights. If government does not fulfill the rights of indigenous peoples, we cannot say the human rights situation is develop in Bangladesh. So the government has to protect and promote the rights of IPs. He also said, Land is the life of indigenous peoples. But day by day indigenous peoples are losing their land. To protect the land of IPs, I demand to setup separate land commission for IPs. He also mentioned that, “We all are humans, and despite this we face discriminations and injustice.”

In his speech Mr. Mika Kanervavuori said, United Nations has taken a lead role to champion the rights of indigenous peoples, and seeks also to ensure the preservation of their unique societies, cultural practices and diversity. Every year 9th August UN celebrate the day of international indigenous peoples day to promote their rights and we hope one day the diversity will be strength for our development. He mentioned that, the govt. of Bangladesh adopted article 23 A and also 27, 28 and 29 article in constitution is really positive. It is the strong safeguards of protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh. 

Mr Snehal V Soneji said, ‘we are working for plain land indigenous peoples, especially with the women. In our experience we saw there are many gaps between indigenous peoples and the government.’ He mentioned, ‘obviously indigenous peoples are loving this country and they want to be part of nations development.’ 

Pir Fazlur Rahman MP said, Land grabbers are still grabbing lands of indigenous peoples in political protection. He urged to the political leaders not to support the land grabbers.

Mangal Kumar Chakma, Advisor of Kapaeeng Foundation presented a keynote on “Second International Decade and Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh” at the beginning of the discussion. In the keynote paper, he mentioned that despite a number of fruitful outcomes like adoption of the UNDRIP, successes during second international decade remain limited to policy level. A huge gap still exists between adopted declaration and implementation of it. The 6th Five Year Plan of Bangladesh government and the strategic plan of the National Human Rights Commission emphasised on ratification of ILO Convention 169. The 6th Five Year Plan also mentioned about development and promotion of human rights of indigenous peoples. However, the provisions that concerns about them still remained at policy stage.

Mangal K Chakma also mentioned that during 15th amendment of Bangladesh Constitution, a new article (23 KA) naming ‘culture of tribes, minor races, ethnic sects and communities’ was included in the Constitution, which is the first provision in the Constitution that specifically mentions about indigenous peoples in Bangladesh. However, the article only concerns about preservation of their culture and tradition and hence ultimately ignores right to land and self-determination, political participation and participation in decision making process of indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, without ensuring aforementioned rights, it is not possible to preserve culture and tradition of indigenous peoples.

At the end of the discussion, the members of Bangladesh Adivasi Cultural Forum performed a colorful cultural program.


Courtesy of Kapaeeng foundation.

Press Statement from CHT Commission over alleged torture and death of a Chakma activist in military custody

Following is the press statement from the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) on alleged torture and death of a 52-year-old Chakma man while in custody of the armed forces in Matiranga Upazila of Khagrachari District in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) on August 10, 2014:

PCJSS press conference protesting against enactment of anti-CHT accord and anti-people laws and programmes of government in CHT

PCJSS press conference protesting against enactment of anti-CHT accord and anti-people laws and programmes of government in CHT

PCJSS organised a press conference on present state of implementation of the CHT Accord, amendment of the Hill District Council Act, enactment of the CHT Development Board Act and establishment of the Rangamati Science and Technology University and Medical College on 14 July 2014 at 11:30 am, Monday, at Hotel Sundarban, Dhaka.

President of PCJSS Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma delivered speech in this press conference while information and publicity secretary of PCJSS Mangal Kumar Chakma conducted the event. Besides, president of Gono Oikya Pankaj Bhattacharya, eminent columnist Syed Abul Moksud, organising secretary of PCJSS Shakti Pada Tripura, general secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum Sanjeeb Drong, president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Rabindranath Soren et al were present in the press conference.

President of Girisur Shilpigosthi Ms. Joyati Chakma Inu, assistant secretary of information publicity department of PCJSS Dipayon Khisa and finance secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum Andrew Solomar, teacher of Dhaka University Robaet Ferdous were also present.

PCJSS demanded to withdraw the Bill of three Hill District Council (Amendment) Act 2014 that were placed before the Parliament; to repeal the CHT Development Board Act 2014 and to abolish the CHT Development Board; and to postpone the initiative of establishing Science & Technology University and Medical College until and unless proper implementation of the CHT Accord is made.

Instead of establishing university and medical college, PCJSS demanded to introduce Honors and Masters Courses on more subjects in the government colleges in CHT and to allocate necessary funds for education sector; to preserve more seats in quotas in the various public universities, engineering universities and medical colleges for the Jumma students and provide scholarship for them for higher education and research abroad; to establish para-medical and polytechnic institutes in CHT; and to appoint necessary teachers in the government and non-government primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in CHT and allocate necessary funds for establishment of residential quarters for teachers and hostels for boys and girls.

PCJSS also urged government to undertake initiative for speedy and proper implementation of all the unimplemented issues of CHT Accord.

Instead of stepping for an initiative to implement the unimplemented main issues of CHT Accord, the government has taken a U-turn while violating the CHT Regional Council Act and three Hill District Council Act through unilateral initiatives by bringing amendment to the three Hill District Act and enactment of CHT Development Board Act and stepping up measures for establishing Science & Technology University and Medical College in Rangamati. Hence, with this, PCJSS declared that if any undesirable situation springs up as a result of implementation of such anti-accord, undemocratic and anti-people initiatives against the hopes and aspirations of CHT people, the government will unilaterally have to remain liable for.

Following is the press statement of PCJSS:

ATTACK ON CHT COMMISSION’S MOTORCADE: Civic group demand immediate arrest of attackers

New Age, July 11, 2014


Civic group demand immediate arrest of attackers

Staff Correspondent 

Civics group leader on Thursday demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of those responsible for the attack on the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission.

Speaking at a human chain in the front of National Museum in the capital, Gono Oikkya convener Pankaj Bhattacharya said the attack on CHT commission’s representative was not a stray incident. He said a ‘bare-minimum democracy’ does not exist in the CHT area.

Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong said that if the government feels that the state is for all citizens, the government should come forward to protect the rights of indigenous people.

Worker Party of Bangladesh leader Fazle Hasan Badshah, MP, said radical groups are active in the CHT area as the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord is yet to be implemented.
Earlier, the International CHT Commission blamed the department of forest and law enforcement agencies, especially Border Guard Bangladesh, for land grabbing in the hill districts.

The commission alleged the civil administration and law enforcement agencies in the hill districts were reluctant to ensure security of the commission members when their motorcade came under attack in Rangamati on Saturday.

Commission member Iftekharuzzaman, also the Transparency International Bangladesh executive director, along with two others, was injured in the attack while settlers were demonstrating against the commission’s visit to the hill districts, accusing it of being biased towards hill people.

Columnist Syed Abul Maksud, lawmaker Ushatan Talukdar, Association for Land Reform and Development executive director Shamsul Huda, Filmmaker Rashed Rain and Jagannath University teacher Razib Mir also took part in the human chain.


The Daily Star, July 11, 2014
State favouring Bangalee settlers
Rights activists tell protest programme on recent attack on Int'l CHTC team

Staff Correspondent

The state always protects the Bangalee settlers and their different organisations unleashing terror on indigenous people and the visiting human rights delegations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts repeatedly, Rangamati MP Ushatan Talukder and several rights activists said yesterday.
The observations came in response to the government's inaction over bringing to justice the Bangalee settlers who attacked a delegation of International CHT Commission in Rangamati on July 5.

“The people of the region want to live without a constant fear of attack. We will know that there is democracy in the region when the attackers are punished,” said Talukder, addressing a human chain in front of the National Museum under the banner of Nagorik Shomaj to protest the attack.

Pankaj Bhattacharya, presidium member of Gonoforum, said there was no democracy in the hill tracts as the region was still heavily militarised. “Eminent citizens of the country have often come under attack in the region while the state has remained inactive,” he said.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Sanjeeb Drong said if the government believed that the state belonged to all citizens, including the indigenous people, it must punish the attackers.

Workers Party lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha and noted columnist Syed Abul Moksud also spoke at the event.

The Independent, Friday, 11 July 2014 

CHT Commission motorcade attackers still at large

Author / Source: Staff Reporter 

The assailants who attacked the motorcade of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Commission recently are still moving freely, flexing their muscles though they have been identified, alleged speakers at a rally condemning the attack. Criticising inaction of the authorities concerned, Professor Mesbah Kamal of the Department of History of Dhaka University and chairperson of Research and Development Collective, said, “Despite a case being filed and there being clear evidence who made the attack on the commission’s motorcade, nobody has been arrested yet in connection with the incident.” “We have information that Somo Odhikar Andolon was behind this incident,” he added.

“If the administration and law enforcers could not ensure security for renowned right activist like Sultana Kamal and the executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), how would they ensure safety of the common people?” he questioned.

He told this correspondent that during the regimes of General Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad, around four lakh Bengali settlers were sent to the Chittagong Hill Tracts and till date they are propagating to drive away the hill tract community to grab their land and property. 

However, these Bengali settlers are violating the rights of the indigenous people of the hill tracts under the protection of the armed forces of those areas. Fazle Hossain Badsha,MP, president of the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous People, said, “Although the attackers have been identified, the local administration has kept completely mum on the issue.”

Columnist Syed Abul Maksud and Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, also spoke. 

The rally was organised by some civil society groups in front of the National Museum in the capital yesterday.

Daily Sun, July 11, 2014

‘Extreme communal forces active in CHT’

Nagorik Samaj forms a human chain at Shahbagh in the capital on Thursday, protesting the recent attack on the members of International CHT Commission. SUN photo 
Extreme communal forces became active in Chittagong Hill Tracts due to non-implementation of the CHT peace accord, speakers at a human chain said on Thursday.

They said the attack on International CHT commission members at Rangamati on July 5 is tantamount to a blow on the Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Affairs.

A civic group arranged the human chain in front of National Museum in the city to protest the attack on CHT commission members by Bangalee settlers.

Addressing the event, United National Awami Party president Pankaj Bhattacharya alleged that Samo Odhikar Andolon, an organisation of Bangalee settlers, is being operated under the shelter of the government. He called upon all to join movements for establishing rights of indigenous people.

Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong condemned the attack on eminent citizens at Rangamati and urged the government to take steps to arrest the attackers.
Workers Party general secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha MP, Jana Sanghati Samity vice-president Ushaton Talukder MP, and columnist Syed Abul Maksud, ALRD executive director Shamsul Huda, among others, also spoke. 


Please find Bangla news reports:

Daily Prothom Alo: http://www.prothom-alo.com/bangladesh/article/264481/%E0%A6%9C%E0%A6%A1%E0%A6%BC%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%A4%E0%A6%A6%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%B0_%E0%A6%A6%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%B0%E0%A7%81%E0%A6%A4_%E0%A6%86%E0%A6%87%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%B0_%E0%A6%86%E0%A6%93%E0%A6%A4%E0%A6%BE%E0%A7%9F_%E0%A6%86%E0%A6%A8%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%B0_%E0%A6%A6%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%AC%E0%A6%BF

Daily Kaler Kantho: http://www.kalerkantho.com/print-edition/news/2014/07/12/105970#sthash.gZWOgYOA.dpuf



Courtesy of Kapaeeng

Attack on visiting CHT Commission by Bengali settlers in Rangamati, 3 injured & 2 vehicles vandalised

Attack on visiting CHT Commission by Bengali settlers in Rangamati, 3 injured & 2 vehicles vandalised

On 5 July 2014 members of the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) came under brutal attack by Bengali settlers, who have been protesting the visit of the commission members in Rangamati. Three people including a member of CHTC and Officer-in-Charge (OC) of local police station were injured in this attack. Two cases were filed with Kotwali police station by coordinator of CHTC Hana Shams Ahmed on 7 July and by OC on 6 July. However, nobody was arrested so far in this connection.

The CHT Commission is independent and fully committed to an approach of constructive engagement with all stakeholders in Bangladesh. Its mandate is to promote respect for human rights, democracy, and restoration of civil and political rights, participatory development and land rights in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, including monitoring implementation process of the CHT Accord of 1997. Before, the Commission conducted its mission in the CHT with its national and international members. However, this time they were visiting the CHT with only its national members.

Bengali settlers in the name of six fanatic organizations namely Parbatya Chattagram Somo Odhikar Andolon (CHT Equal Rights Movement), Parbatya Gono Parishad (Hill Tracts People Council), Bangalee Chhatra Parishad (Bengali Students Council), Parbatya Nagorik Parishad (Hill Tracts Citizens Council), Parbatya Bangalee Chhatra Oikya Parishad (Hill Tracts Bengali Students Unity Council), and Parbatya Juba Front (Hill Tracts Youth Front) protested the visit of CHTC, terming it controversial and questioning the impartiality of the commission. They alleged that the Commission is instigating communal conflicts between Bengali and indigenous peoples in the hills. Declaring the CHT Commission unwanted in the region, on 5 July around 10:00 am, the settlers put barricade on the main road leading towards Rangamati town by felling logs when they came to know about the arrival of the commission members in the district.

Six organisations of Bangalee settlers on 4 July called on 36-hour road and waterway blockade in Rangamati protesting the commission’s visit to the hilly region. Later, they withdrew the blockade knowing that the commission returned to Chittagong. It is mentionable that, in their visit in Khagrachari district, the CHT Commission also faced the same situation created by the Bengali settlers. 

In Rangamati, the CHTC team came under attack around 1:30 pm in front of the local DGFI office in Omda Miah Hill area while they were leaving Rangamati Parjaton Motel, where they were staying at, for Chittagong with police protection. 

Commission member Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, also executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Monu Sohel Imtiaz, officer-in-charge of Rangamati Kotwali Police Station, and Ilira Dewan, a researcher of CHT Commission, were injured when the protesters threw brick chips on their vehicles. Two vehicles - one of the commission and the other of the local police - came under the attack. The microbus, carrying CHTC members were damaged badly. According to the witnessed, the attack carried out by some 100-150 people led by Mr. Piar Ahmad of Somo Odhikar Andolon, Mr. Jalal Uddin Ahmed of Parbatya Gono Parishad, Md. Imran of Banglaee Chhatra Parishad, Ms. Noor Jahan Begum of Parbatya Nagorik Parshad, Mr. Ujjal Pal of Parbatya Bangalee Chhatra Oikya Parishad and Md. Hannan of Parbatya Juba Front. Police fired three blank shots to disperse the attackers. No one was detained at that time. Immediately after the attack police took the CHTC members to the nearest Kotwali police station for security. Later, one of the injured – Ilira Dewan was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for treatment. Deputy Commissioner (DC) and Superintendent of Police (SP) of Rangamati Md. Mostafa Kamal visited the spot learning the incident. 

Different national and regional organizations condemned the heinous attack on the CHT Commission. They all condemned the “pre-planned” attack on CHTC members. They also expressed grievances since no one was arrested in connection with the incident. They alleged that this attack was committed by the vested elements who do not want to see implementation of the CHT Accord of 1997 and who want to fishing in muddy water by making CHT situation turmoil. They also said that this attack was not made possible without the blessing of vested interest groups of the government and state machineries.

The Member of the Parliament from Rangamati constituency, Mr. Ushatan Talukdar, in a press statement, condemned the attack and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits involved behind this brutal attack and examplary punishment to them.

Press Conference at Chittagong Press Club

At around 3.30 pm the CHTC team went to Chittagong with police escort and held a press conference at Chittagong Press Club. In the press conference Co-chair of the CHTC Sultana Kamal and members of the Commission – Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Khushi Kabir, Barrister Sara Hossain, Dr. Swapan Adnan and other officials of CHTC were present. Speaking in the conference Sultana Kamal, also formal advisor of Caretaker Government, alleged that the people who had been at risk of losing land occupied illegally might be behind the attack. The CHTC blamed six settlers’ organizations of the CHT, which it said had been defying the conditions of the 1997 CHT Accord from the very beginning. The commission also pointed out one of the suspects Noor Jahan Begum, leader of Parbatya Nagorik Parishad, who led the protest in front of the Parjaton Motel in Rangamati.

Kapaeeng foundation

Indigenous peoples’ land grabbing by influential land grabbers intensified

18 hurt in a clash between BGB and indigenous villagers regarding land disputes in Dighinala

On 10 June 2014, at least 18 people including several women were injured in a clash between indigenous peoples and members of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) over setting up of a battalion headquarters in Dighinala upazila of Khagrachari district.

It is reported that on that day when BGB personnel tried to plant a flag at the proposed site of the camp at Babuchara under Dighinala upazila, dozens of indigenous women protested, and got into an altercation with the BGB men saying the land belonged to them. The argument led to clashes that left several indigenous people and BGB members wounded. Police later went to the spot, and fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells to bring the situation under control. 

Indigenous villagers claimed that BGB has taken an initiative to acquire 31.63 acres of land belonging to the people of three indigenous villages namely Santosh Kumar Karbari Para, Gobinda Karbari Para and Notun Chandra Karbari Para in Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari district in order to establish battalion Headquarters. There is not only land of indigenous families, there is land of a primary school and Buddhist temple. As a result of this initiative, at least 21 indigenous families were evicted and lose their ancestral lands. The primary school where 200 students are studying was already closed down. There is a helipad, an Ansar camp and an army camp on 5.20 acres of land in the identified area. The helipad was established on 2.00 acres of recorded land of one Bajaram Chakma, the army camp was constructed on the 2.20 acres recorded of land of late Lalit Mohan Chakma and the Ansar camp was set up on 1.00 acre of recorded land of Mano Ranjan Chakma. BGB claimed that as per government rules, they acquired the land for the BGB at Babuchhara in 1991. Fearing eviction, local indigenous people filed a writ petition with higher court against the move.

On 12 June 2014, BGB filed a false case against 100 unknown local indigenous Jumma people due to camp vandalism. In this case, BGB included two dead persons and one lawyer as defendant in order to harass them. On that day local indigenous people brought out a procession against setting up BGB camp in Dighinal upazila. On 13 June 2014, police arrested Pradip Chakma and another unknown Jumma person of Jotno Kumar Karbari Para on their way work. Police also raided their village and closed their village road down.

Kapaeeng Foundation

Suspend process of setting-up of university and medical college in Rangamati

Suspend process of setting-up of university and medical college in Rangamati
Speakers demanded at a discussion meeting of BIPF and CHTCC

On 28 June 2014, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizen’s Committee (CHTCC) and the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BIPF), CHT Chapter organised a discussion meeting at Azimur Rahman Conference Hall, the Daily Star, Dhaka demanding immediate suspension of the process of setting up of Rangamati Medical College (RMC) and Rangamati University of Science and Technology (RUST).

The discussion meeting was presided over by Prakriti Ranjan Chakma, president, BIPF, CHT Chapter while it was moderated by Binota Moy Dhamai, assistant general secretary, BIPF. The keynote of the meeting was presented by Goutam Dewan, president, CHTCC.

Ushatan Taludkar MP; Pankaj Bhattacharya, eminent politician; Syed Abul Maksud, eminent writer and researcher; Rowshan Jahan Moni, Director, ALRD; Abu Sayeed Khan, eminent columnist and journalist and Shakti Pada Tripura, organising secretary, BIPF were present at the discussion meeting as honourable discussants.

In the meeting, the speakers claimed that indigenous peoples of the CHT have been suffering from development aggression since Ayub Khan regime of Pakistan period when Kaptai dam was built that displaced tens of thousands of Indigenous peoples from their homeland. Many such development initiatives undertaken as of now in the CHT turned into disasters since proper consultations were not done with the locals. The planned educational institutes might also be disastrous. 

The speakers mentioned, the CHT Accord of 1997 requires government to consult with the CHT Regional Council prior to any kind of development initiatives in the CHT region. Therefore, the government is legally bound to consult with the CHT Regional Council prior to setting up these educational institutions. 

The speakers opined that they are not against higher education, rather they feel the importance of it very deeply. However, they do not want these educational institutions to be established prior to the development of the political, cultural and educational situation of the CHT. The development of the situation requires implementation of the CHT Accord. If the CHT Accord is implemented right now, they want the Medical College and University right now. 

The speakers demanded/recommended inter alia: postponement of the process of setting up of Rangamati Medical College and Rangamati University of Science and Technology; proper consultation with the CHT Regional Council and indigenous peoples’ leaders of the CHT prior to setting up of the above-mentioned educational institutions; forming of a high-level committee composed of eminent educationalists, scholars and IP leaders from the CHT for the purpose of setting up of above-mentioned educational institutions; ensuring quality education at primary, secondary and higher secondary level educational institutions in the CHT; and full and proper implementation the CHT Accord.

Kapaeeng Foundation

CHT Commission Condemns BGB & Police attack on indigenous villagers in Dighinala

Following is a press statement from CHT Commission condemning attack on indigenous villagers in Dhiginala: